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Our 10 favorite movie feasts to whet your appetite this Thanksgiving

Our 10 favorite movie feasts to whet your appetite this Thanksgiving (photo)

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Sure, Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day that honors the Wampanoag Native Americans sharing their harvest with the Pilgrims, but to us, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate everything we love about food. With that chow-happy sentiment on the brain, we decided to compile a list of our favorite onscreen movie feasts that had us wishing we were there to devour them too.

Did the Never Feast in “Hook” get you hungry? Us too. Did you want to go to Hogwarts only so you could pig out at dinner in the Great Hall? We hear you. Check out our top 10 list of movie feasts that get our bellies grumbling below. Who knows, maybe they will inspire some meals for your Turkey Day celebration next year.


“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)

There’s nothing that should get you in the mood for the holidays quite like a feast hosted by a child-eating monster with eyes for hands. Though we must say, of all the food at the Pale Man’s table…grapes? Really Ofelia? Over that ham? But in any case, it’s hard to fault the girl from breaking Pan’s clearly dictated order of not eating anything at the Pale Man’s table when everything looks so tasty. Though that whole “if you do it, he’ll kill you” threat does sort of leave a bad aftertaste. Judging by the pile of empty shoes in the corner of the feast room, though, there were enough children for whom that threat just wasn’t good enough.


“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)

There’s only one reason that we believe without a doubt that there’s no way Hogwarts can actually exist in the real world: the food for dinner can’t possibly be as good as it looks in the movies. Sure, the meals at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are top-notch, but they just don’t stack up to the plates after plates of delicious dishes and tasty treats featured on the dinner tables in the Great Hall. And to think, they get to eat like that every night.


“Babette’s Feast” (1987)

When it comes to movies with feasts in them, “Babette’s Feast” takes the cake. And the turtle soup. And the buckwheat cakes with caviar. And the quail in puff pastry with foie gras. And the rum sponge cake. Is your mouth watering yet? The Danish film — which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film the year it was released — is a real testament to the love one woman has for food. After winning 1,000 francs in the lottery, a servant named Babette decides to use the money to create a lavish feast for the Christian sect she lives at instead of returning to her home in Paris that she was forced to leave 14 years earlier because of the counter-revolutionary rebellion in 1871. In the end, she is left again without money but with the knowledge that “an artist is never poor.”


“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)

We’re jumping holidays a little bit right now, and the company Chevy Chase keeps at Christmas isn’t exactly our favorite clique. And, to be fair, that turkey looks like it tastes god awful, and there’s not really anything else on the Christmas dinner table to eat. It doesn’t matter: we just want to feast with Chevy Chase. Clearly he has been doing something right in the 22 years since this film was release, because he looks pretty healthy in “Community.” But it’s the Pledge of Allegiance moment in this scene that really sells this onscreen feast for us, regardless of whether the food was good or even edible.


“Big Night” (1996)

When a movie’s climax is a giant dinner scene for 16 people, you know the flick is doing something right. “Big Night” — also known as Stanley Tucci’s directorial debut — centers around two Italian brothers living in American trying to run a restaurant. Their big break comes when a famous jazz singer is supposed to pay a visit to their restaurant, and they pour their hearts into preparing the perfect dinner for the big night. Though things don’t end up going as planned with the dinner, the meal looks absolutely fantastic. Chicken soup, a trio of risotto, timpano, roasted chicken, fish, asparagus, roasted garlic, beets, tomatoes, artichokes, potatoes, carrots and a suckling pig. It’s making us drool just thinking about it.


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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.